Smollen hopeful of building on APC lead

Shane Smollen is hoping to continue his perfect start to the 2021 MRF Tyres Australian Production Cars Series (APC) with a strong weekend at next month’s Morgan Park round.

The former Porsche Paynter Dixon Carrera Cup regular has been enjoying life in the series since making the full-time switch in 2021, swapping his Porsche for the Prestige Connex backed BMW M4.

Having just contested two events in the new car, those two outings have proved quite memorable for Smollen, who was part of an outstanding Hi-Tec Oils Bathurst 6 Hour victory in April alongside Shane van Gisbergen and Robert Rubis, before claiming a clean sweep in the first round of the APC series at Sydney Motorsport Park.

And although the New South Welshman enters next month’s Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships round at Morgan Park as one of the favourites, he is not getting ahead of himself.

“I am really looking forward to the round. I am yet to have an official race day there, but I have had a test and it’s a good little track,” Smollen said.

“Racing there will be really interesting with a full field. It’s quite tight in places, so I expect there will be lots of great racing and it will be enjoyable for everyone.

“I think the fact that no one has had much time in Warwick will make a difference only in qualifying because practice time is quite limited, meaning it’s hard to get the right setup and to understand the track in time.

“Sydney gave me the opportunity to continue learning about the car and how it works rather than focusing on trying to beat others. It was a flawless weekend and I think that no mechanical faults made it more fun.”

Despite having such a strong start to 2021, Smollen has accepted that his perfect run will soon come to an end with the 57-year-old predicting that his focus for Morgan Park will be more long term instead of short term.

“So far the season has been great. It’s not often you put a car on a track and it wins every race,” Smollen added.

“It’s been a positive start thus far and Aaron Reid has built me an excellent package, so I am really happy with where I am at.

“For the next round though, I know there is going to be a deeper entry list with plenty of X class BMWs who are evenly matched and have a bit more experience at the circuit than I do.

“I think we will be just behind them a little bit, but I am still hopeful of being competitive. I don’t have any expectations of another clean sweep because I am focused more on the championship and will be trying to avoid any unnecessary mistakes.”

Tickets for the event are now on sale with all general admission tickets for Saturday and Sunday’s sessions currently available. Each day will cost $25 per person while a weekend pass costing $40. For Friday sessions and children under the age of 15 all weekend, admission is free but attendees must register for a free ticket in advance for contact tracing purpose.

Click here to purchase tickets. 

The second round of the 2021 MRF Tyres Australian Production Cars Series takes place at the Shannons Motorsport Australia Championships’ round at Morgan Park on 13-15 August.